Ongwediva-“I have learned with shock that the Ongwediva Town Council fire brigade could not respond to a fire outbreak as the fire-fighting vehicle was sent to the scene with an empty water tank,” lamented Shaningwa.
Two weeks ago the Ongwediva Town Lodge was reduced to ashes amidst allegations the fire department ran out of water and arrived late at the scene.
Shaningwa made the remarks at a two-event inauguration of the fire station and renaming of 20 streets at Ongwediva.
The fire station was built at a cost of N$8 million.
Shaningwa said the construction of the fire station is an indication of the council’s commitment to protect its residents, stressing that local authorities are obliged to put in place systems to respond to emergencies.
Although the council has 24/7 standby emergency services there are currently no sleeping quarters for staff to respond to emergencies after hours and during the weekends.
The minister said the third phase would address the issue of sleeping quarters in order for staff to respond promptly to emergencies.
She implored the council to be ready and responsive at all times. She further encouraged residents to report emergencies quickly to get prompt responses.
“However, there are unfortunate events which may happen and such should be treated as learning curves for both the public and the council, leading to new strategies moving forward,” said Shaningwa.
The fire station comprises three offices, a boardroom, a storeroom, three parking bays and a control room.
The events also saw the naming of streets to liberation struggle heroes and heroines.
Shaningwa called upon the council to ensure that all streets are named over the next five years. She said street names are crucial in effective service delivery.
“You will agree that the absence of street names has a negative impact in that residents experience challenges in obtaining services and goods from a variety of sources and service providers,” said Shaningwa.